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New businesses open in downtown Denver as others close

New businesses open in downtown Denver as others close
New businesses open in downtown Denver as others close 02:38

The revolving door of businesses in Downtown Denver has been a struggle since the pandemic and amid Denver's homeless crisis.

CBS News Colorado visited Ana's Norwegian Bakeri at its grand opening in November when the owner said she was optimistic about coming to 16th Street Mall.

Just months later, the business has closed permanently and is filing for bankruptcy.             

Two other businesses downtown, Avelina and Three Saints Revival, have also shut down since the start of the year. Some have cited crime, low foot traffic and construction.

RELATED: New businesses open downtown as Corner Bakery leaves after 25 years: "I always hoped to open my own restaurant"

But even as some doors close, others are opening.

"I still see the future and the potential down here. I think there always gonna be ebbs and flows in cities," said Emily Hawver, owner of Show Pony Vintage.


Hawver isn't letting shuttered businesses scare her away from downtown.

"There's a lot of talk about how downtown's dead and everything's closing and it makes me nervous. But I'm also like 'there's plenty of people walking around, people still visiting," so I think it's just gonna get bigger and better down here," said Hawver.

Friday, she opened her second location of Show Pony Vintage near Larimer Square.

"A lot more of what we have is considered neo-vintage which is 80's, 90's, Y2k," said Hawver.

Not far away, Moyo Nguvu Cultural Arts Center is preparing to open on 22nd Street, between Five Points, downtown and the ballpark.

"To be at the intersection of all three and to have such a historical significance for the black community is amazing," said Executive Director Bathsheba Walker.

Moyo Nguvu Cultural Arts Center Executive Director Bathsheba Walker CBS

The center has been around for 34 years but hasn't had its own space in a decade.

"This is a pretty big step for us. Our mission is to aid in the establishment of justice and peace through the sharing of culture," said Walker.

The building features several rooms that Walker envisions as classrooms, a maker's space and even potentially a podcast studio.

"This main space would probably be our main classroom space where we would do workshops in African drumming, or martial arts, music and dance," said Walker.

Walker isn't worried about the threat of closure. She says she's taking security precautions, and that spaces like this will draw people in.

"That third space where you can be in community and be with people, especially if you're working from home, has become increasingly important," said Walker.

Hawver shares that faith. Both women are now betting on a future downtown.

"I'm here! Maybe a little early, but I think there's the potential to do well," said Hawver.

Moyo Cultural Arts Center will open in June, they're looking for community feedback about what people want from the center.

According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, over a dozen other restaurants and businesses are also planning to open downtown this year.

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